Merkley: Federal Funds Boost National Guard and Create Jobs

– Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley toured the Polk County Armory in Dallas today to learn how the more than $12 million in federal appropriations for the Oregon National Guard that he helped secure will help create a new Oregon National Guard Polk County Readiness Center.

“These funds give Oregon National Guard members the support they need, creates jobs and establishes a community cornerstone,” Merkley said.  “This is a textbook example of how we invest in families, communities and our soldiers.”

Construction and maintenance of the center, which will be built north of Dallas on Kings Valley Highway, will directly create more than 240 jobs and indirectly create more than 150 other jobs.

The new, more than 40,000 square foot readiness center will have classrooms and administrative space for training and operations for homeland security, antiterrorism and force protection, according to the Oregon National Guard. The new center will be more than twice the of the roughly 18,000 square foot Dallas Armory.

The Oregon National Guard’s 162 Engineer Company, based in Dallas, is currently on a yearlong deployment to Afghanistan.  The readiness center will be their new home base once it is constructed.